Human Services Guide
West Virginia

Social Work Licensure in West Virginia

  • Find Education Requirements in West Virginia for one of the following:

West Virginia’s unique position within the US has it considered to be part of several regions including the Mid-Atlantic Upland South, Southeastern US and Appalachia. It has a diversity of geography that gives it tremendous potential for outdoors activities such as fishing, spelunking and hiking. West Virginia is also a great state to start your licensed Social Work career in. It is important to remember that there can always be updates or changes to a state’s rules and regulations. It is extremely important to stay informed with regards to current regulations around licensure, here is the website for the State of West Virginia:

There are four different kinds of social work licenses in West Virginia: Licensed Social Worker (LSW), Licensed Graduate Social Worker (LGSW), Licensed Certified Social Worker (LCSW) and Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW).

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Licensed Social Worker (LSW)

  • If you wish to attain the Licensed Social Worker (LSW) in West Virginia, you must first get a Bachelor of Social Work degree from a Council on Social Work Education accredited university or college.
  • There is no field experience requirement for this position.
  • You must pass the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Bachelor Level Exam.
  • To renew your license, you must have successfully completed 50 contact hours of continuing education.

Licensed Graduate Social Worker (LGSW)

  • If you wish to attain the title Licensed Graduate Social Worker (LGSW) in West Virginia, you must first get a Master or Doctorate of Social Work degree from a Council on Social Work Education accredited university or college.
  • There is no field experience requirement for this position.
  • You must pass the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Master Level Exam.
  • To renew your license, you must have successfully completed 36 contact hours of continuing education.

Licensed Certified Social Worker (LCSW)

  • To become a Licensed Certified Social Worker (LCSW) in West Virginia, you must first get your Master or Doctorate of Social Work degree from a Council on Social Work Education accredited university or college or one in candidacy for accreditation. You will need to pass a criminal background check. You will need to provide proof of at least 4 hours of AIDS awareness training acceptable to the board.
  • When applying for this license you will need to provide verification of at least Two years of post-graduate social work experience. You must then receive a passing score on an Association of Social Workers ASWB Advanced Generalist Level Exam.
  • To renew your license, you must have successfully completed 50 contact hours of continuing education.

Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW)

  • If you wish to hold the title of Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW) in West Virginia, you must first get a Master or Doctorate of Social Work degree from a Council on Social Work Education accredited university or college.
  • 3,000 hours of supervised part-time post-master’s clinical practice are required or two years of supervised full-time post-master’s clinical practice, including 100 hours of supervision, at least 60 hours of which must be in face-to-face meetings with the clinical supervisor. The clinical supervisor must be licensed as an LICSW.
  • To apply for this license, you must first log 3,000 hours of social work practice. 100 hours of this must be under supervision with at least 60 hours of face-to-face meetings with the supervisor of the clinic. The supervisor of the clinic must be a licensed LICSW.
  • Once you have completed and sent in your application you may apply with the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) for their Clinical Level exam. Once you pass the test you will be eligible to receive your new title Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker in the state of West Virginia.
  • To renew your license, you must have successfully completed 48 contact hours of continuing education.